Brian Gregory Mascord was born in Newcastle NSW on 30 January 1959—the eldest son of Ron and Margaret Mascord (nee Callinan) and older brother to John. He grew up in the parish of St Mary Immaculate Charlestown (now part of the MacKillop Parish incorporating Charlestown, Gateshead and Redhead.) Through the gift of his grandparents, Brian has a close relationship with his extended family.
“For all things give thanks.” 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18
His primary schooling was with the Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar at St Joseph’s Catholic School Charlestown and his high schooling took place at St Pius X College Adamstown—a school that was staffed by diocesan priests of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. After completing his HSC, he achieved a Diploma of Teaching at the Catholic College of Education in Castle Hill NSW. He taught for six years in primary schools in the Diocese until he began his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College in Manly (1986–1990) where he was awarded a Bachelor of Theology. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle on 31 October 1992 at Sacred Heart Church (now Cathedral) in Hamilton by Bishop Leo Clarke. From 1993 to 1996 he worked as an assistant priest and administrator at the parishes of Taree, Hamilton and Stockton. He then served as parish priest at the parishes of Cardiff (1997–2002), East Maitland and Morpeth (2002–2005), and Maitland, Lochinvar and Rutherford (2005–2007).
From 2007 to 2018 he was the vocations director for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. During this time has also served as administrator at the parishes of Nelson Bay (2008–2012), Mayfield and Mayfield West (2014–2016), and parish priest of the MacKillop Parish (2017–2018).
He was a long-standing member of the Council of Priests (2006–2018) and was a member of the diocesan Clergy Life and Ministry Team (2013–2018) and the Australian Council for Clergy Life and Ministry (2015–2017). From 2012 to 2018 he was the vicar general of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
On 30 November 2017 His Holiness Pope Francis appointed him as the fifth bishop of Wollongong. On 22 February 2018 Bishop Brian was ordained the bishop of Wollongong at the WIN Entertainment Centre in the presence of 4,500 people including 34 bishops and over 110 clergy.
Member of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Bishops’ liaison for the Catholic Conference of Religious Educators in State Schools (NSW & ACT)
The bishop’s Coat of Arms and Motto (known as “Ecclesiastical heraldry”) refers to the use of heraldry within the Church for dioceses and clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. In the Catholic Church, most bishops, including the pope, have a personal coat of arms and motto.
Ecclesiastical heraldry differs notably from other heraldry in the use of special insignia around the shield to indicate rank in the Church. The most prominent of these insignia is the low crowned, wide brimmed ecclesiastical hat, commonly the Roman galero. The colour and ornamentation of this hat indicate rank. Cardinals are famous for the “red hat”, but bishops are usually the green hat. In the Catholic Church, unless a new bishop has a family coat of arms, he typically adopts within his shield symbols that indicate his interests or past service. The display of a cross behind the shield is restricted to bishops as a mark of their dignity. A motto is a short phrase usually appearing below the shield as a statement of belief.
Pilgrim’s hat (galero) and tassles (fiocchi)
Surmounting the episcopal shield is the pilgrim’s hat—the heraldic emblem for all prelates and priests of the Latin Rite of the Church. The green colour represents the rank of bishop. For this rank and office there are six tassels suspended on either side of the hat in a pyramidal style.
The display of a cross behind the shield is restricted to bishops as a mark of their dignity. The cross of an ordinary bishop has a single horizontal bar or traverse (i.e. latin cross).
Grapes and wheat
The grapes and wheat represent the Eucharistic symbols, for we are called to be the Body of Christ in our world. They also recognise the rural nature of both the Diocese of Wollongong and Bishop Mascord’s home diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
The open book represents the Scriptures. We hear the Word of God and take that word with us into the world. The open book also represents Bishop Mascord’s teaching background.
Jug, bowl and towel
The jug, bowl and towel are reminders that Jesus has given as an example of service and calls us to mission and service in his ways—to wash the feet of others.
The Southern Cross is a reminder that, as Australians, we do all this under the Cross.
The motto is a short phrase usually appearing below the shield as a statement of belief. Bishop Mascord has taken as his motto, “For all things give thanks” (1 Thess 5:18).
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.